Men's Fashion

A Beach Body Quick Fix

Beach body quick fix

It’s not an uncommon problem. You’re about to head to the beach or the pool and you’re feeling a bit self-conscious. Especially after a tough year like we’ve just had, a lot of us don’t feel like we’re at our “fighting weight.” But we’re all ready to get outside and enjoy ourselves. Thankfully, there are exercises you can do to give your vanity muscles a pump to look their best. Just ask Ashley Borden and Gregg Miele, two personal trainers who know a thing or two about getting in shape and doing it on a deadline. They’ve worked with everyone from Ryan Reynolds to Nick Jonas, and while they’ll be the first to tell you that there’s no substitution for a quality fitness routine, there are moves you can do to focus attention on the right places. “I call them the action-hero muscles,” says Borden. “The muscles that everyone lusts after.” Here’s what the trainers suggest.

Beach body quick fix

Give Yourself
a Little Time

To get a proper pump, you need to think about it an hour or two before you disrobe. Ideally, you’d have a small meal—something clean, light and packed with protein like grilled chicken, a salad and some sweet potatoes—to maximize your muscles. You want to give your body time to utilize the nutrients. This is also a good time to apply a sunscreen or body lotion with SPF (and maybe even a little sunless tanner). Healthy, moisturized skin looks better in the sun and will help showcase the shape of your muscles.

Don’t Worry
About Abs

Here’s some good news: If you don’t already have a six-pack, then you probably don’t need to worry about doing sit-ups. Even blasting out 100 crunches won’t pump your abdominal muscles. One trainer even said that crunches can sometimes make your midsection look bigger. So you’re better off focusing on the muscles you can improve in the next 30 minutes.

Pump Up Your Chest

About 30 minutes before you head out, you want to stat pumping the muscles. Start with your chest, because defined pecs will make your T-shirt hang on your body nicely and everything is clearly visible once you take that shirt off. A supercharged push-up will build your pecs in two ways, says Alden Mills, the three-time Navy SEAL platoon commander and founder of Perfect Fitness.

His Perfect Push-Up technique mimics functional movement to really tone the pecs. Position your hands directly under your shoulders and your elbows will naturally point towards your feet thus engaging more of your triceps. Move your hands two-hand widths wider than your shoulders and your elbows will point in opposite directions (east and west so to speak), which activates more of your chest. Add rotation and the three different hand positions and you get a wonderful upper body workout.

A 1-2 Punch
for Arms

Nothing will get flexed more than your biceps. After all, in a recent survey they were voted one of the most attractive parts of a man’s body. But you want to pump them properly to give them shape. And you can’t forget your triceps—which takes up two-thirds of your arm and is actually composed of three different muscles. That’s why well-defined triceps give your arms a fuller, more muscular look.

Forget the heavy weights. According to Miele, body weight and resistance bands are actually much better for giving muscles a bigger, toned appearance. And the hammer curl is the preferred movement here. Stand with your feet on the center of a medium- heavy resistance band, grabbing it like a hammer. Keeping your upper arms perpendicular to the floor, squeeze your biceps and curl the resistance band upward slowly. Maintain control of the movement as you return to the starting position. Do 15 to 20 reps and then stretch and flex to ensure good blood flow through the muscles.

Next you’ll do some close stance push-ups. This is a touch wider than the diamond push-up position, with your hands just narrower than your shoulders. Do this by simply moving your hand position from a standard push-up in a few inches so that your elbows are “glued” against your torso as you work. Aim for 10 to 20, emphasizing the squeeze on the triceps.

Don’t Forget
Your Legs

Plenty of guys pull on their swimsuits for the first time and feel the pangs of insecurity about their “chicken legs.” Shapley legs will help you look better in shorts, but there’s not a lot you can do in a short amount of time. You can give your calves a bit of a pump though.

Stand on a block or step with one leg, your weight resting on the ball of your foot. (If you need support, you can do this in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall.) Wrap your free foot around the back of the working leg. Allow your body to sink toward the floor and stretch your calf. Hold for one second and then drive the ball of your foot into the surface as you raise your heel up. Hold the top position for two to five seconds. Switch legs and repeat for five sets.

Posture Is Key

Proper posture

Don’t forget to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and keep your chest up. It not only makes you look taller, but keeps your belly from bulging.